MARSCHNER: Hans Heiling

First Performance: 24 May 1833, Kˆnigliches Opernhaus,

Principal Characters:
Queen of the Erdgeister Soprano
Hans Heiling, her son Baritone
Anna, his bride Soprano
Gertrud, her mother Alto
Konrad, a hunter and Anna’s sweetheart Tenor
Stephan, a blacksmith Bass
Niklas, a tailor Tenor



Hans Heiling has fallen in love with a girl he found during a trek on the
earth. He wants to leave the empire of the Erdgeister forever, despite all
warnings of his mother, the Queen.

Act I

Hans Heiling ascends to the earth from his home in the underworld. He
brings a magic book and jewelry for his would-be bride. With these in hand,
Heiling approaches Anna. But Anna is terrified by the book. Heiling burns the
book on Anna’s request. They renew their vows of fidelity. They then go
to the village festival. There are many people at the tavern drinking,
dancing and singing. Konrad joins them, who has loved Anna for a long time.
Konrad asks Anna to dance. Hans Heiling objects angrily; but, Anna ignores
him. Heiling suspects that his bride doesn’t love him.

Act II

Anna leaves to go home through the forest and becomes lost. She is
concerned because she loves Konrad, but she is Heiling’s bride.
Suddenly, the Queen appears and beseeches the girl to release her son, who is
not a human being but a prince of the underworld. Anna faints. Konrad finds
the girl and takes her home.

Once again, Hans Heiling approaches Anna to win her over. However, the
girl returns the jewelry. In a rage, he stabs Konrad. Heiling then runs away,
laughing scornfully.


Hans Heiling is tired and returns to the Erdgeistern. He finds out that
Konrad is not dead and that Anna will marry him the next day. Heiling returns
to the earth to take revenge on the faithless.

Konrad and Anna are wedded in the forest chapel. Following an old custom,
they must now find each other while blindfolded. Hans Heiling steps in and
seizes Anna’s hand, who pleads for mercy. Konrad rushes to help his
wife; but, his knife shatters as he strikes Heiling. Heiling summons the
Erdgeister to destroy all the people. The Queen appears and persuades her son
to reconcile. Hans Heiling returns to the underworld.

Click here for
the complete libretto

image_description=Hans Heiling Cover Page
first_audio_name=Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861): Hans Heiling
second_audio_name=Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861): Hans Heiling
Windows Media Player
product_title=Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861): Hans Heiling
product_by=Hermann Prey (Hans Heiling), Leonore Kirschstein (Anna), Hetty Pl¸macher (Gertrud), Liane Synek (the Queen), Karl-Josef Hering (Konrad), Hans Franzen (Stephan), Harald Meister (Niklas), Kˆln Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Joseph Keilberth (cond.)
Live performance, July 1966, Kˆln